Kaiali’i Kahele. Photo: Facebook.
Progressive candidate Kaiali’i Kahele won Tulsi Gabbard’s former Congressional seat in Hawaii’s 2nd district.
Kahele came into Saturday’s primary with a handful of solid progressive and establishment democratic endorsements. He was supported by everyone from Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority leader, to the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and former Justice Democratic Candidate Kaniela Ing.
Another important caveat that made this race an easier hill to climb was the fact that Tulsi Gabbard decided not to seek re-election in order to run for president.
Turns out, it wasn’t much of a hill to climb. After all the votes were counted, Kahele secured 100,735, good enough for 76.5% of the votes.
Primary opponents Brian Evans (9.4%), Brenda Lee (8.1%) and Noelle Famera (6.1%) all received under 10% of the vote, respectively.
Kahele supports Medicare For All, a Green New Deal and believes housing is a human right. He is a native Hawaiian who serves as a Lieutenant in the National Guard.
His service in the National Guard played a role in his primary as he was absent from the campaign trail for the ﬁnal four months of the campaign on active duty, trying to help his state respond to the current coronavirus crisis.
Kahele will become apart of a growing wave of progressive momentum since the end of the Sanders campaign. He will be apart of a slate of freshman representatives as the general election looks to be all but solved at this point.
What’s Next? Watch out for Primaries in Connecticut, Vermont, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Georgia’s run-oﬀ tonight.